'The Rangers'

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'A Tundra-Wolf Story'

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'A Tundra-Wolf Story'

Part Two 'The Rangers'

After donning his armor over his riding leathers Ando Gilgarhad walked out of his tent looking it over for any spots of rust. He had only just received it back from the camp handlers after they cleaned it and made minor repairs. He was pleased as the armor looked to be spot free. The only blemish he could find on the plain steel was the silhouette of a wolf's head over three chevrons etched into the breast plate over his heart. The chevrons denoted his rank and were almost worn away because of the turns of use his armor had seen. His rank stamped into the metal was no longer really necessary for people to know who he was. Nor did he need to wear the light blue and gray, the colors of the Alteran Province, in the dyed gossamar short cape hanging down his back, the colored strips of leather making up his apron or the dyed horse hair bristles in the crest of his helm for people to recognize him. He was known far and wide throughout the Sixteen Provinces. He was especially well known wherever strong drink was served and soldiers congregated in the main city taverns, the common rooms of the major Strongholds and every Wolf Pack Long Hall throughout the land. He was Sergeant Ando Gilgarhad, a Wolf Pack Ranger of the First Tribe in the Alteran Province, and everyone called him Gilly. For over the last thirty turns he has protected the Wolf Lands as a Ranger and he is very angry an enemy invasion force has landed on the western shores of the Wolf Nation and killed his friends.

He began walking through the camp which was a flurry of activity as men moved this way and that preparing for the early morning ride. Someone handed him a bowl of hot venison soup on the run spilling it all over his nice clean breastplate and burning his hands. It made Gilly even more angry as he looked around, but he decided it would do no good to start yelling orders at anyone yet. He could see everyone was working hard at getting ready to leave and moving as fast as they possibly could.

He walked over to the rope lines that made up the corral for the War-horses, deciding this was the safest place to eat without getting bumped into. Under the light of torches mounted high-up on tall poles evenly spaced about the field he watched groomsmen and horse handlers at work. They were trying to soothe the big War-horses so they could dress them in their armor. Some of the horses loved it while others couldn't stand it. He saw Garth and Seth inside the rope line going from one horse to another helping to calm them. These two young strapping lads were also from the Alteran Province and worked in the stables of the Wolf Pack Long Hall. Farm grown and tough as a stump the two were important figures around the stables. However, talking to them was at times like trying to explain blue to a blind man. They weren't the most swift of mind, yet they were the smartest men in the room when it came to the War-horses, or any horse for that matter.

Gilly could see some of the horses were being dressed out in boiled leather and brass while the larger ones were having steel put on. For this raid on the Roman lines the Over-Captain wanted the horses armored over and under. That meant armor on the top and sides of their bodies from head to tail as well as armor protecting them underneath from groin to chest. Some of the really large ones would even be wearing sections of plate steel on their legs, however most would be covered in chain-mail on those parts. Two hundred War-horses would be suited up tonight and they had to be done by sunrise. That was when the Over-Captain wanted to ride to the ambush point. Thanks to the Maker they had the War-horses, Gilly thought. They were the only horses who could swiftly make the long ride to the ambush point while being fully armored and carrying an armored rider. These horses could do it at a full gallop if they had to and still be just as feisty and ready to fight as if they'd only walked a mile.

"WAR HORSE"       A Tundrawolf StoryWhere stories live. Discover now